Another boost for Apple Intelligence — Microsoft AI PC features branded "a bad joke"

Microsoft Surface Pro 2024 key art
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Apple Intelligence, the iPhone creator’s AI, is a little behind schedule versus its competition right now, but if Microsoft’s new PC features are anything to go by, we’re happy to wait until Apple gets it right. 

As reported by our friends over at Tom’s Hardware, Microsoft's Copilot+ PC exclusive features are “a bad joke” that don’t make up for the rather high cost of Microsoft’s latest PCs. Their performance, though not as good as the best MacBook right now, is still impressive given how new much of the tech is. However, the three exclusive features, Cocreator, Windows Studio Effects, and Live Captions, are either not good or not particularly unique. 

Starting with Cocreator, TH says the “text-to-image drawing feature” that uses generative AI to make pictures in Paint, is a bit of a smokescreen. Rather than helping you draw better images, it simply replaces your image with whatever prompt you type in. This makes it hard to refine and no different from any other generative AI programs out there. It also only works when you’re online. When compared to Image Creator, another piece of generative software built into Windows 11 versions of Paint, it isn’t as clear or consistent. 

“Anyone can blur a background”

Windows Studio Effect performed no better. It can be used to blur backgrounds and set fun backgrounds but most PCs and phones can already do this, and as consistently too. The unique filters and “Eye Contact” feature just simply didn’t work in testing. The Live Captions function was also majorly inconsistent for Tom’s Hardware and a little niche too. 

Curiously, Recall, a function that takes snapshots of your device every few seconds to allow you to go back in time and find where you are, is not available on these machines and has no current date set. This is the standout AI feature of these devices and Microsoft has officially delayed the feature, removing even the preview version of the app. 

It is worth noting that many users will buy AI devices knowing that AI will improve with time but this seems like a gamble right now, and one that Apple is preparing for with the launch of its own AI functions later this year. Hopefully, it fairs a little better. Not only will Apple be pulling in OpenAI to use as its initial chatbot but some AI functions will be on-device, without a need for an internet connection — making it a bit more viable when you’re on the go. Apple has a good opportunity here to learn from Microsoft’s mistakes. 

M3 MacBook Air 13-inch |$1,099$999 at Amazon

M3 MacBook Air 13-inch | $1,099 $999 at Amazon

Having the most powerful MacBook chip right now, and coming in at a $100 discount, this is an excellent way to get one of the most powerful PCs out there. It will be AI ready when Apple Intelligence launches this year too. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.

  • naddy69
    Considering how badly MS shot themselves in the foot with the "Windows Recall" disaster, I would not be surprised to see the entire "CoPilot PC" branding fail.